In a June 19, 2017 press release, Sens. Len Fasano and Kevin Kelly decried the partisan nature of Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy’s recent hearings on health care. Fasano and Kelly called for a bipartisan forum that includes insurance and healthcare professionals. Appropriate as that would be, the press release itself was a highly partisan statement that undercut the call for bipartisanship.
Fake News. Alternative facts. “Truthiness.” These are new labels for an old enemy of democracy: propaganda. It is particularly relevant to take a critical look at how propaganda is employed by our own government today.
What is there to say about a civilization that ignores the quickening pace of climate chaos? When the margin available for preventing vast damage across a hundred generations is already gone, what is there to say about a people who again and again embrace habits and systems and ideologies that deepen the damage?
The political battle lines over globalism have created an unpredictable electoral climate that is perplexing the Ruling Class of the Western world. Fault lines have developed, with the Ruling Class outraged that the masses will not listen to their betters and vote accordingly. Thus, we have Ruling Class outrage over the Brexit vote in England and the victory of President Donald Trump.
It is incumbent for the Democratic Caucus to act as urgently as possible to advance an alternative health care bill that has better chance of covering 23 million more of our fellow Americans than the current AHCA regardless of their emotional attachment and political allegiance to the Affordable Care Act. We must repudiate the secretive process that is being pursued by the Senate leadership and prevent the AHCA from becoming the law of the land. We must take the initiative away from the majority leader of the Senate to enact an affordable, sustainable, innovative and equitable Health Care law based on the Patient Freedom Act.
Why did our government give away our rights to our browsing histories? We have a president who admires despots like Putin and Duterte and doesn’t believe in free speech unless it’s his own on Twitter. Could the search histories of today be used for blackmail tomorrow? With a warrant, the government can request our histories, but who will have access to it tomorrow? Your employer, your insurer, your neighbor? And what will constitute a crime in the future?
In three decades of reporting, I’ve had a front-row seat to Congress’ slow, stuttering retreat from such step-by-step transparency, a process known as “regular order.” It has now culminated in the Senate GOP leadership’s top-secret process to try to write a health bill that could change the formula for nearly one-fifth of the nation’s economy, with a vote they want to cast by July 4.
The recent high stakes drama in Washington about the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act has sparked much soul-searching among physicians about the importance of quality health care. Healthcare is intensely personal, and how we feel is defined by our energy, strength and sense of well-being. When we are healthy, life is good, but when we don’t feel well or suffer with the effects of a chronic illness, life is a daily struggle. Over the 30 years I’ve been practicing medicine, the world around us has changed dramatically: how we live, how we communicate, the technology we use and the availability of information has evolved exponentially.
In the time since the Trump administration released its budget proposal, many have raised alarms about cuts to well-known, popular programs and agencies like the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts, and NASA. What’s gotten less attention is that the administration’s proposed budget also includes cuts to programs that help children facing adversity to become successful, productive adults.
President Trump has begun the slow process of changing the course of American foreign policy. Interestingly, in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, John Bolton, a foreign affairs guru, argued that so far Trump has followed the same basic course as his two predecessors, Barack Obama and George W. Bush.
However, the recently concluded visit to Saudi Arabia marked a real turning point. It is obvious that the visit had been well planned. No one makes a $100 billion-plus arms deal on the spur of the moment. But there was more to the visit than a deal that might bring jobs to Connecticut companies like Sikorsky.
With apologies to Bozo and Pagliacci, it is now clear that we have a clown for a president—a great big orange buffoon with tiny fingers and a big red necktie long enough to trip over. Barnum & Bailey may be history, but we still have POTUS & Pence. “Indubitably!” as the Three Stooges would say.